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Colby Smith in New York and Gideon Long in Bogotá

When Juan Guaidó and his Venezuelan opposition gained control of one of the jewels of the country’s oil industry — Texas-based refiner Citgo — it seemed to offer them financial muscle for an effective challenge to the regime of President Nicolás Maduro.

But now Citgo seems more of a problem to Mr Guaidó and his movement, which will lose the asset if, as seems certain, it fails to make a $913m bond payment within days.